Trump fumes as his revenge play against Georgia Gov. Kemp turns into epic failure
Among Donald Trump's list of political enemies, Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp ranks right up there with Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
Whereas Cheney sought to impeach Trump and end his political career, Kemp certified an election in his state that ultimately contributed to Trump's ousting from the White House.
Trump has arguably gunned with equal fervor to banish both from the Republican Party and end their careers. Cheney still has a tough row to hoe despite the fact that she has been raising historic sums in her bid to beat back her Trump-endorsed primary challenger, among other GOP candidates.
But Kemp currently appears poised to soundly defeat the candidate Trump recruited to challenge the sitting GOP governor—former Sen. David Perdue.
In fact, Perdue—who arguably had the stature and name recognition to compete with Kemp—appears to have entirely cratered, to the point where Trump is now washing his hands of the race.
In the final days of the campaign, Trump plans to make no public appearances with Perdue and has groused to aides about his lackluster performance, according to reporting from NBC News. It's quite the turnaround given that Perdue's race was one of the only contests for which Trump actually parted ways with real money, investing some $400,000 of his own campaign war chest just last month. Perdue also not-so-subtly dangled the prospect of cheating to elect Trump in 2024, if necessary, as a sweetener for his MAGA base.
Lot of good that's done. After loaning himself $500,000, Perdue had raised just $3.5 million in the campaign compared to Kemp's $22 million haul, though Kemp had a head start.
The Kemp campaign promised to sprint through the finish line with roughly $4 million in ad buys in the final month of the race, while Perdue has scheduled $0 in ads for the last week of the contest. The Atlanta Constitution-Journal ran a piece this week titled, “Where in the world is David Perdue?”
“It’s hard to see how this race isn’t over,” GOP pollster Matt Towery told NBC. “It’s almost impossible to win a major race when a popular governor is bombarding you on TV and you’re dark.”
In a Fox News poll released Wednesday, Kemp led Perdue 60% to 28%.
Perdue's last big hurrah leading up to Tuesday's primary is (drumroll, please) a Friday event with she's-seen-better-days Republican Sarah Palin.
Trump is predictably bitter about the whole thing.
“Donald Trump has worked harder to elect David Perdue than David Perdue,” a Trump adviser said, noting that Trump held rallies, coughed up cash, and fundraised for him. Trump also cleared the field for a two-way race with Kemp by convincing another candidate, former state Rep. Vernon Jones, to run for Congress instead.
The only question now seems to be whether Trump will take his lumps and move on, or whether he will double down on trying to tar and feather Kemp throughout the rest of the general election. One way or the other, Trump will still be playing in the Peach State with his handpicked candidate for Senate, former Georgia football star and alleged wife beater Herschel Walker—who is likely still Senate Republicans' best bet for a pick up this cycle.
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